Saturday, April 21 , 2018, 8:23 pm | Fair 59º


Elaine Abercrombie: Real Estate Market Is Looking Up

A trend emerges with the average sold price rising slowly

Median home prices are up, according to the Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Service.

In January, they were $626,000, and February posted $678,500. In 2009, the median home price for our area was $645,000.

With the average sold price rising slowly during the past year, I think there is a trend beginning. The market velocity for the overall area has a six-month supply of homes. If no other homes are listed, it would take 185 days to sell the existing residential inventory today in the MLS.

After hearing news about cotton costs rising 80 percent, I’m sure it won’t take long for the manufacturers to pass those costs to us. I see the cost of groceries increasing each week as I shop at the market, as well as the cost of gas rising weekly. In Santa Ana, premium hit more than $4 a gallon.

We could say inflation is here and the best place to hedge inflation is by owning your own home. Since we all require food and shelter to live, why not control your costs now and keep them low for the coming inflationary times that are built into our system?

With interest rates as low today as in our parents’ and grandparents’ day, now is a great time to lock in a fixed rate around 5 percent for the long term. We sell homes every day here in Santa Barbara area; in fact, we have been negotiating three acceptable contracts a day between buyers and sellers.

Sales for February surpassed last year’s volume. According to the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors from Carpinteria to Goleta, we had 70 sales, most of which were in the Goleta area. Goleta continues to be the market with the tightest inventory, also with only a three-month supply.

When real estate is on sale like it is today, with prices off their one-time high, low interest rates and sellers negotiating with buyers to sell their homes, it is a good time to evaluate your needs and call in a professional to discuss all your options so you don’t miss today’s market opportunity.

Elaine Abercrombie, a broker with Abercrombie Fine Homes, is past president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or at 805.450.0086.

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